Junot Díaz · 335 pages
Rating: (193.7K votes)
“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”
“It's never the changes we want that change everything.”
“Success, after all, loves a witness, but failure can't exist without one.”
“She was the kind of girlfriend God gives you young, so you'll know loss the rest of your life.”
“If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge.”
“That’s life for you. All the happiness you gather to yourself, it will sweep away like it’s nothing. If you ask me I don’t think there are any such things as curses. I think there is only life. That’s enough.”
“Nothing more exhilarating ... than saving yourself by the simple act of waking.”
“You can't regret the life you didn't lead.”
“You don't know what it's like to grow up with a mother who never said a positive thing in her life, not about her children or the world, who was always suspicious, always tearing you down and splitting your dreams straight down the seams. When my first pen pal, Tomoko, stopped writing me after three letters she was the one who laughed: You think someone's going to lose life writing to you? Of course I cried; I was eight and I had already planned that Tomoko and her family would adopt me. My mother of course saw clean into the marrow of those dreams, and laughed. I wouldn't write to you either, she said. She was that kind of mother: who makes you doubt yourself, who would wipe you out if you let her. But I'm not going to pretend either. For a long time I let her say what she wanted about me, and what was worse, for a long time I believed her.”
“- Nothing else has any efficacy, I might as well be myself.
- But your yourself sucks!
- It is, lamentably, all I have.”
“Before all hope died I used to have this stupid dream that shit could be saved, that we would be in bed together like the old times, with the fan on, the smoke from our weed drifting above us, and I'd finally try to say the words that could have saved us.”
“She would be a new person, she vowed. They said no matter how far a mule travels it can never come back a horse, but she would show them all.”
“You really want to know what being an X-Man feels like? Just be a smart bookish boy of color in a contemporary U.S. ghetto. Mamma mia! Like having bat wings or a pair of tentacles growing out of your chest.”
“Love was a rare thing, easily confused with a million other things, and if anybody knew this to be true it was him.”
“Each morning, before Jackie started her studies, she wrote on a clean piece of paper: Tarde venientibus ossa.
To the latecomers are left the bones.”
“It's exactly at these moments, when all hope has vanished, that prayer has dominion.”
“...and when he thought about the way she laughed, as though she owned the air around her, his heart thundered inside his chest, a lonely rada.”
“Sucks to be left out of adolescence, sort of like getting locked in the closet on Venus when the sun appears for the first time in a hundred years.”
“As expected: she, the daughter of the Fall, recipient of its heaviest radiation, loved atomically.”
“Here at last is her smile: burn it into your memory; you won't see it often.”
“Beli at thirteen believed in love like a seventy-year-old widow who's been abandoned by family, husband, children and fortune believes in God.”
“Travel light. She extended her arms to embrace her house, maybe the whole world.”
“It was like being at the bottom of an ocean, she said. There was no light and a whole ocean crushing down on you. But most people had gotten so used to it they thought it normal, they forgot even that there was a world above.”
“The thoughts he put in her head. Someone should’ve arrested him for it.”
“Know that in this world there's somebody who will always love you.”
“Poor Oscar. Without even realizing it he'd fallen into one of those Let's Be Friends Vortexes, the bane of nerdboys everywhere. These relationships were love's version of a stay in the stocks, in you go, plenty of misery guaranteed and what you got out of it besides bitterness and heartbreak nobody knows. Perhaps some knowledge of self and women.”
“In a better world I would have kissed her over the ice trays and that would have been the end of all our troubles. But you know exactly what kind of world we live in. It ain't no fucking Middle-earth. I just nodded my head, said, See you around, Lola, and drove home.”
“The only way out is in.”
“Ybon was the one who suggested calling the wait something else. Yeah, like what? Maybe, she said, you could call it life.”
“My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest – so what is it then?”
“While we try to find out what happened to her, there’s something you should keep in mind.”
Jess arched a brow. “Oh?”
“If Hayes Bannock has your wife, you probably top his shit list. Be afraid.”
“He had no idea that grief was a reward. That it only came to those who were loyal, to those who loved more than they were capable of. ”
“Daddy said you can see the devil in people's eyes, but maybe the devil is nothing more than the sadness they carry around inside of them, bottled up so tight that it comes out as pure ugliness.”
“Go litel bok, go, litel myn tragedye,
Ther God thi makere yet, er that he dye,
So sende myght to make in som comedye!
But litel book, no makyng thow n'envie,
But subgit be to alle poesye;
And kis the steppes where as thow seest pace
Virgile, Ovide, Omer, Lucan, and Stace.”
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